What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Deep Learning

The Big Idea for Sunday, December 08, 2013

A smart machine, if given enough data, can teach teach itself to recognize patterns and mimic the way that the human brain behaves.

In today's lesson, Ray Kurzweil provides insights into the work he is doing at Google. His ostensible goal is to help the company develop a better search engine that can process natural language. But the potential benefits of discovering the brain's algorithm go much further than that. The more we understand about the brain, Kurzweil says, the better we are able to fix it. Moreover, the brain is at the center of our understanding of human identity, and our notions of consciousness and free will. 



  1. 1 Ray Kurzweil and the Brains Behind the Google Brain
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 Reverse-Engineering the Brain
    Dr. Joy Hirsch
  3. 3 The Ghost in the Machine: Unraveling the Mystery of Consciousness
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  4. 4 The Most Amazing Race: Reverse-Engineering the Brain
    Daniel Honan Think Tank

Deep Learning

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